Who's Behind the Presidential Term Extension Agenda?

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Several ministers are reportedly behind the campaign for the postponement of the 2024 elections and the extension of President Joko Widodo's term in office. CNN Indonesia and Suara reported that the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan asked Zulkifli Hasan, the chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN) who is also the deputy chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), to raise the issue of delaying the 2024 general election and presidential election.

The issue was asked to be addressed in the party's National Coordination Meeting on Election Winning, held on February 15. Zulkifli reportedly also met with the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and the chairman of the Golkar Party Airlangga Hartarto on a separate occasion. Airlangga reportedly stated that Golkar supports the postponement of the 2024 elections and will raise this issue during a visit to Riau on February 24. 

Zulkifli reportedly then asked the opinion of PAN officials. A small number refused and questioned the legality of the plan. But most of the officials leave the decision to him.

When confirmed, Zulkifli denied that there was a request to postpone the election. He stated that his meeting with Luhut and Airlangga was just an ordinary meeting. However, some PAN officials confirmed that there was a PAN leadership meeting to discuss the issue of delaying the 2024 elections.

Jodi Mahardi, Spokesperson for the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, also denied the news. He said Luhut had never been involved in coordinating the agenda for the postponement of the 2024 elections with political parties.

He said it was normal for Luhut to meet with leaders of political parties, and the meetings usually only discussed various current affairs in Indonesia. Jodi said he was not surprised by this news because slanted rumors often hit Luhut. He said Luhut currently focuses on completing his duties until his term ends in 2024.

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